I have very mixed feelings about this hotel. Normally we only stay at a B&B when visiting Key West but we thought that we give Casa Marina a try. On one hand, it is a beautiful property and has great views of the ocean from the pool and patio area. On the other hand, the customer service is not what you would expect from a Waldorf and if you are a Hilton Diamond member, like me and are used to the usual member benefits, do not expect many at this property.
Like I said it is a gorgeous old property which is obviously been renovated. You could not find a better setting in Key West. The hotel is located on the quiet side of the island, far away from the crowds and noise of Duval Street. The views of this hotel are hard to beat, especially if you have a room facing the ocean or if you are on the patio. The front desk staff was very nice and I was upgraded to a one-bedroom suite upon arrival at 5 PM. Unfortunately, our room was not ready at that time so they gave us a $60 credit for the restaurant/bar and asked us to go sit in the patio bar while they readied our room. Within 30 minutes I received a call from the front desk to let me know that our room was ready. We were taken along with our luggage to well-appointed and roomy one-bedroom suite located in the building closest to the ocean and in a very quiet part of the complex. That is where the positives end.
What stands out for me the most is that this is a hotel that nickel and dimes you death with very little in to show in return and when you complain they come off as very condescending. They charge a hefty $25 per day resort charge ($15 Gold/Diamond) for use of their amenities such as the pool, fitness center and outdoor games. This is a daily charge that gets added to your room whether you use the amenities or not. There is no courtesy shuttle to and from the airport as is customary with other hotels. There is no shuttle to the old town as do many other hotels in Key West have. If you want to move around you will either have to rent a car or use taxis.
If you are a Hilton Diamond member do not expect the usual benefits of a Diamond membership. The only standard Diamond benefit that you will receive here is free Internet and let me not forget the $15 a day discounted “resort charge”. This hotel does not have an executive lounge or does it offer free breakfast to Diamond or Gold members like all other Hilton properties. When I inquired about this at the front desk the response was we do not have an executive lounge or offer refunds because this is a Waldorf, not a Hilton. Really?
Outside of one young man who worked in the front desk who is always very nice and tried to help us several times, they have a staff that seemed poorly trained, uncaring, surly, condescending and even argumentative at times. An example of this was when we called the front desk and asked for two foam pillows to be brought up to our room because of allergies. When the hotel worker got to our room, he preceded to hand me two duck feather pillows. I politely told him that these were not foam but were duck feather pillows and that we had asked for foam pillows. He then told me that I was wrong and that they were foam pillows. I then grabbed one of the pillows turned it around and showed him the label on the side of the pillow so that the he could see that said “down duck feather” pillow but he continued to argue with me that they were foam pillows so I took the pillows and asked him to leave. I then took the pillows to the front desk myself and told them what happened. They apologize and assure me that I would have the pillows within an hour. Two days later I finally got one foam pillow.
The rest of the staff, specially the bartenders seem sourly and give you the impression that they do not like to work there. I guess it all came to light for me the morning that we checked out. The person that handled our check out was a manager. When I walked up to the desk she greeted me and asked if we had enjoyed our stay. I responded by saying that it was a gorgeous property and that we had enjoyed our stay but that there were several things that needed improvement. I was shocked when she did not look up nor asked what needed to improve. Apparently she was not interested in what I had just said which is exactly what the problem is at his hotel. If management does not care, why would you think that their staff would? It is this general lack of care and flippant attitude that bothered me most during this stay. I would like to add that I am not an occasional traveler. I travel weekly and have stayed at some of the best properties in this country. I do not want to be catered to constantly or groveled over. Nor do I think this is a bad hotel. But I do expect a certain standard when you call yourself a Waldorf and charge accordingly. I have stayed at the Waldorf in New York City and in Orlando several times in the past and received exceptional service. This property needs to greatly improve their customer service or drop the name Waldorf/Hilton altogether. As for me and my wife, we will continue returning to Key West every other month but is very doubtful we will stay at this property again.
Ask for a room with ocean view.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 4, 2012
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Thank you for your candid feedback regarding your stay with us. The comfort of our guests is our first priority, and I appreciate your sharing your concerns regarding the services you received during your stay. We are actively working with our housekeeping staff to ensure that lack of service never interferes with the singular Waldorf luxury experiences we promise our guests, and I will keep your review in mind as we look toward refresh options. For our diamond and gold members, each Waldorf Astoria provides a property specific benefit. Thank you again for your feedback, and I invite you to stay with us again the next time your travels bring you to the area. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for personal service.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.